J. D. Heyes
A new study shows that children with psychosis and other severe mental health disorders also have twice as much vitamin D deficiency as children who are mentally healthy.
The study, presented to the American Psychiatric Association 2011 Annual Meeting in Honolulu in June by researchers from the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland showed that 21 percent of children with symptoms of severe psychiatric problems had vitamin D levels below what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends.
That level compared with 14 percent of children who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III, a population-based study that assessed the nutrition and health status of both children and adults in the U.S.
“That is 50 percent more than children in a normal population, so based on our findings this means that 1 out of 5 kids with severe mental illness has low vitamin D levels,” lead investigator Keith Cheng, M.D., told Medscape Medical News.
Some researchers have also said that low vitamin D levels can lead to autism in children, the report said.
Besides combatting mental problems and conditions, vitamin D is also useful in preventing a range of other medical conditions, including osteoporosis, prostate cancer, depression, breast cancer and can even affect diabetes and depression.